With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France―a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime. (description from Amazon.com)
This novel shows two of the roles people played in WW2: Isabelle, the 'underground girl,' who fights as a member of the Resistance and represents those in France who refused to surrender to the Germans and her sister Vianne, the quite homemaker, who is more or less a bystander in the war and basically in denial of the injustice and suffering the French experienced during the German occupation and represents those in France who were too afraid to act until they were personally extremely affected by the occupation and injustice. The entire time I was wondering if I would be more like Isabelle or more like her sister.
In the Popsugar Reading Challenge, this book was my choice for the "A book becoming a movie in 2019" prompt. This book also fits a prompt in the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge: "A book with a dual timeline" (this book goes back and forth between the time of the German occupation of France and the present time).
Book #6: 5 out of 5 stars
"The Man from St. Petersburg" by Ken Follett
(description from Amazon.com)
The novel beautifully describes historical events: from the women in England fighting for the right to vote, the unrealistic view the aristocrats in England had of the life of and the impact of their actions on the working class in their country to the British and Russians trying to come to an agreement just in case England is dragged into a war with Germany. The book also contains two beautiful love stories: the love between a young upper class girl and a working class man that was doomed from the very beginning because of their status in society and the love between parent and a child. Follett's book also includes family secrets and we experience the coming of age of a young upper class girl who is looking for her place in life and purpose.
This book fits the "A reread of a favorite book" prompt in the Popsugar Reading Challenge. In the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge, I assigned this one to the "A book featuring a historical figure" (Winston Churchill).
Book #7: 5 out of 5 stars
"The Wicked Will Rise" by Danielle Paige
My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas. After a tornado swept through my trailer park, I ended up in Oz. But it wasn’t like the Oz I knew from books and movies. Dorothy had returned, but she was now a ruthless dictator. Glinda could no longer be called the Good Witch. And the Wicked Witches who were left? They’d joined forces as the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and they wanted to recruit me. My mission? Kill Dorothy. Except my job as assassin didn’t work out as planned. Dorothy is still alive. The Order has vanished. And the home I couldn’t wait to leave behind might be in danger. Somehow, across a twisted and divided land, I have to find the Order, protect the true ruler of Oz, take Dorothy and her henchmen down—and try to figure out what I’m really doing here.
Also, Amy's love story continues in this sequel. There are a few surprises and twists just as in the first book. The book is classified as a YA book, but it is a fantastic read for adults of all ages.
Danielle Paige has a great way of ending her books with a cliffhanger that makes you want to pick up the next book in the series right away. I had the third book put on hold at my local library right away and it is one of the books I will read in February.
As for the Popsugar Reading Challenge, this book would fit the "retelling of a classic" prompt, but since I want to try to read a different book for each prompt, I decided to add this to the "A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover" prompt.
In the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge, I used the prompt "Two books related to the same topic, genre, or theme" prompt (with this one being book 2 and "Dorothy Must Die" being book 1).
Book #8: 5 out of 5 stars
"Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens
For the Popsugar Reading Challenge, I chose the prompt "A book recommended by a celebrity you admire" (Reese Witherspoon chose this one for her Hello Sunshine Book Club). This book also fits a prompt in the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge: "A book with a strong sense of place or where the author brings the location/setting to life."